Monday, November 28, 2011

Creamy Fried Confetti Corn

YUM.  I made this alongside the chicken cakes, and this was an amazing dish, again from Southern Living.  It would be perfect at your Christmas table.   I tried to lighten it up (as much as you can lighten up a dish with 8 slices of bacon) by using half the amount of cream cheese (4 ounces instead of 8) and 1% milk instead of half-and-half, and it still tasted delicious.  I made a couple of other changes that I'll reflect below.  So delicious.

Creamy Fried Confetti Corn

8 bacon slices, chopped
4 cups sweet corn kernels (about 8 ears or about 2 large cans)
1 medium size onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (I used jarred red bell pepper)
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Cook chopped bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon and drain on paper twoels, reserving 2 tablespoons of droppings in the skillet.  Set aside bacon. 

Saute corn, onion, and bell peppers in hot drippings in skillet over medium-high heat for 6 minutes or until tender.  Add cream cheese and milk, stirring until cream cheese melts.  Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper.  Top with bacon.  Yields 6-8 servings.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chicken Cakes with Creole Sauce

When I found this Southern Living recipe, I couldn't wait to try it.  These were SO good; Buck has already requested them again.  He said he would have been fooled into thinking these were crab cakes if I hadn't told him they were chicken. 

I used my favorite Crock Pot Salsa Chicken for the shredded chicken, and the salsa added extra moisture and flavor.  You could just as easily use leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store as a short cut.  As another short cut, I used the roasted red bell pepper from a jar since I didn't have a fresh one.  The cakes aren't spicy, but the red pepper in the creole sauce does add some heat.  I highly recommend these!

Chicken Cakes with Creole Sauce

1/2 medium size red bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Creole mustard
1 tsp Creole seasoning

Saute the bell pepper, green onion, and garlic in a skillet coated with cooking spray for 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Wipe skillet clean.  Stir together bell pepper mixture, chicken, and remaining ingredients in a bowl.   Shape chicken into 8 patties.  Cover and chill 15 minutes.

Cook patties, in 2 batches, in skillet coated with cooking psray over medium heat, 3 minutes on each side or until golden.  Serve immediately with Creole Sauce.

Creole Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
3 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp Creole mustard
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Stir together all ingredients until well blended.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Spicy Mushrooms

These mushrooms are very good, but please do note the title: they are spicy!  

This is another recipe from this month's Food Network Magazine, and it was really easy to put together.  It's also nice because it's easily adaptable to fit what you have around the house.  The original recipe called for 2 plum tomatoes, but I used 1 roma tomato; the original wanted 2 seeded fresh jalapenos, but I used 8 or 9 slices of pickled jalapenos.  Instead of starting with unpeeled garlic cloves to roast, I used the minced ones that come in water.  And it all worked out great.

I didn't think they'd be very hot.  Yes, the jalapeno slices had seeds, but I didn't think they'd be as potent with all the mushrooms and onions.  I was wrong.  They're hot!  If your family doesn't like spicy food, scale back the jalapenos.

Spicy Mushrooms

1 roma tomato
8 slices pickled jalapenos
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
Olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 lime
Parsley, for garnish

Cut tomato into quarters, and set on baking sheet skin-side-up along with jalapenos and garlic.  Broil for 5-6 minutes or until charred.  Peel the garlic, and chop the vegetables.  Saute the onion and mushrooms in olive oil and salt to taste for 8 minutes.  Add the tomato mixture, the chicken broth, and some chopped parsley; cook 5 minutes.  Stir in the juice of 1 lime.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Dressing

Again, we made this for our pre-Thanksgiving feast, and it was delicious!  The apples and dried cranberries made the dressing sweet, and the sausage made it savory.  We loved it.

I read that you can actually stuff your turkey with this to make it stuffing, but as I don't know anything about cooking a turkey, we baked it in a 9"x13" dish and called it dressing.  It's fantastic.

Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Dressing

1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
1 lb ground pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
4 Tbsp butter, melted
Chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350.  Spread the white and wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes in preheated oven.  Transfer bread crumbs to a large bowl.  

In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned.  Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.  Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl.  Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, and parsley.  Spoon into 9"x13" casserole dish, and drizzle with melted butter and chicken stock.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, drizzling with chicken stock to moisten dressing 2-3 times during baking. Serve warm.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Amazing Corn Casserole

You want this at your Thanksgiving dinner, your Christmas dinner, your birthday dinner, and probably more often than that.  The problem, as with all delicious dishes, is that you can only afford to eat this one a few times a year.  But I promise you, it is absolutely amazing.  

We made a pre-Thanksgiving feast this weekend, and I wanted to make sure and post this first and recommend it highly.  It was awesome.

Amazing Corn Casserole

1 (15.25oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15.25oz) can creamed corn
1 (8oz) pkg corn muffin mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter.  Pour into a greased 9"x13" casserole dish.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with shredded cheese.  Return to oven for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Let stand for at least 5 minutes, and then serve warm.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

On Sunday, while tracking a deer with Buck, Teak had the very unfortunate experience of getting approximately 837 cockleburrs stuck in his fur, with about 70% of them in the hair of his right ear.  Teak is 2 1/2 years old, and even though he's had many haircuts, we've never let the groomer touch the curlson his ears or the top of his head.  His ear hair is very long, which worked to Teak's disadvantage and the cockleburrs' advantage.  After pricking our own fingers full of holes, and removing several of them, Biz decided the only way to finally settle the matter was to take the beard trimmer to Teak's ear.  Now he has sad, very uneven ears.

How sad is he?  This honestly put me in a bad mood on Sunday.

Cheesy Corn Puffs

This recipe is in this month's Food Network Magazine as a new twist on an old-fashioned kitchen staple: a can of creamed corn.  They were good, but I think they'd be even better with some sharp Cheddar cheese or some chopped jalapenos.  As much as I love pepper jack cheese, it doesn't have the kick that these need. 

Cheesy Corn Puffs

1 cup creamed corn
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, plus more for topping
3 eggs
1 Tsbp fresh chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.  Bring the corn, butter, and salt to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low, add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 2 mintues.

Scrape the dough into a bowl; let cool slightly.  Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well between each addition.  Stir in the cheese and chives.  Chill the dough 15 minutes. 

Scoop tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Sprinkle with more cheese.  Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and puffy, 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Club Sandwich Puffs

This is another recipe I adapted from Plain Chicken.  They were so good, and they're a great appetizer or snack for tailgating.  They're quick to put together, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your refrigerator already.  Try them!  They're great fresh out of the oven. 

Club Sandwich Puffs

1 oz deli ham, chopped
1 oz deli turkey, chopped
2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 tsp minced onion flakes
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 egg
1 Tbsp honey mustard
1 (8oz) package refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350.  In a small bowl, combine finely chopped ham, turkey, bacon bits, onion flakes, cheese, honey mustard, and egg.  Mix well.

Lightly spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.  Unroll crescent rolls and press into one large rectangle; cut rectangle into 24  squares.  Press dough squares into muffin cups and shape up around the edges.  Fill each muffin cup with some of the meat mixture.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Teak got a very special present on Sunday afternoon: a steak bone.  He was the happiest dog in the world.